Wed, 17 March 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

Chris Patten Meets Philip Stephens

Britain Alone: Brexit and Beyond

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Where next for Britain in 2021? Join the last governor of Hong Kong and the award-winning FT journalist for an erudite, insightful account of our post-Brexit future.

In 1962, the American statesman Dean Acheson famously charged that Britain had lost an empire and failed to find a new role. Nearly sixty years later the rebuke rings true again. Where do we go in 2021, as we learn that Britain is not a great power?

Drawing on decades of personal contact and interviews with senior politicians and diplomats in Britain, the United States and across the capitals of Europe, award-winning Financial Times journalist Philip Stephens joins us to explore how we arrived at the state we’re in – and where we go from here.

In this livestream event, Philip will be in conversation with one of the most influential and respected diplomats of our time. As the last Governor of Hong Kong and a former European Commissioner, former chairman of the BBC and now Chancellor of Oxford, Lord Patten of Barnes will bring an insider’s perspective to bear on the questions of Britain’s past, present and future place in the global order.

How might we celebrate Britain’s strengths while accepting that we have slipped from the top table? How can we act as a great nation while no longer pretending to be a great power? Is there any substance to Boris Johnson’s vision of a Global Britain? What form will the Special Relationship take in the post-Trump world?

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from two of the country’s preeminent political figures as they share their insights into our nation’s global future.

Praise for Philip Stephens’ Britain Alone:

“Philip Stephens has produced that rare thing – an instant classic. Britain Alone is the codebook we need to unravel the six and a half decades between Suez and Brexit.” – Peter Hennessy

“Admirably lucid and measured, as well as studded with sharp pen portraits of the key players, Britain Alone gives us the fullest long-run political and diplomatic narrative yet of Britain’s fateful, tragi-comic road to Brexit.” – David Kynaston

“Compelling.. Stephens tell the story with a journalist’s eye for the interplay of personality and policy-making, backed by a deep knowledge of Britain’s post-war history.” – Lawrence Freedman

“Having talked to many of the leading players over decades, Philip Stephens gives us a ringside seat at the drama of how Britain lost, found and lost again its post-imperial international role. Sad and fascinating.” – Timothy Garton Ash

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Philip Stephens

Chief Political Commentator for the Financial Times

Philip Stephens is an award-winning journalist and chief political commentator at the Financial Times. He was previously director of the FT‘s editorial board. Throughout his career, he has had unique access to foreign policymakers in Britain and around the world. Stephens won the David Watt Prize for Outstanding Political Journalism; the UK Political Studies Association’s Political Journalist of the Year; and Political Journalist of the Year in the British Press Awards. He is the author of Politics and the Pound and Tony Blair.

Chris Patten

Conservative Politician and Chancellor of the University of Oxford

Having served as Chairman of the Conservative Party, Lord Patten was Governor of Hong Kong from 1992 to 1997, overseeing the return of The Territory to China. He was subsequently appointed Chairman of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland, European Commissioner for External Relations, and Chairman of the BBC Trust. He is currently the elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford. He is married with three daughters and eight grandchildren.

Photo Credit: Carolin Forbes.